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Archive for October, 2012

                           Somewhere, out in the vast universe there lays a place which is perfect in every way. Is this where we once came from I hear you ask? Is it where we will end up when our lives as we know them are extinguished like a candle in a storm? We come and then go from this world in the blink of an eye that is time itself. Deep and philosophical though some of my stories may be, they should always be read with an open mind. For it is only with an open mind that we can learn.

 

 

                           This warm summer’s day was much like the many before. Clouds had drifted aimlessly by, shapes formed as if to offer a challenge to the minds that took the time to wonder. Gentle breezes blew, carrying the perfume of the flowers across the fields. Birds and bees flitting from place to place, singing their own tunes as they go. Closing your eyes you can let your senses play. So often it is that we rely totally on our eyes to stimulate the mind, forgetting all that is important around us.

Standing alone at the Friendship Tree, I ponder my many adventures. Alone or with friends, there is always something new to be learnt. The words that have been written in the Book of Dreams speaking of so many emotions shared. The darkest moments in the Secret Place, and the many things learnt from the amazing adventures inside the Tree. With anticipation, I look towards the Magic Forest hoping to glimpse a flash of red or pink. Alas, nothing. The sounds so familiar stir from deep within that magic place as if to tease me. Sounds of laughter from the little ones that call it their home.

 The long blue coat tails of my jacket flicker gently as if to beat a tune to some long forgotten, yet familiar song. I brush the hair from my eyes, ever conscious that soon my friends may arrive. More in hope than in knowing, because unlike me, they have many matters of consequence that they must deal with. Some days I wish that I could trade some pixie dust for a smile within the Magic Forest, then sprinkle it with a wish for all dreams to come true. Though I know that the way it is, is how it is meant to be. Everything having a purpose, everything having a place.

I look back at all I have learnt, and that all I have taught. I think of the few that truly know me and the many that never will. I look again for my friends, wishing they would join me. Tired, I sit. Back rested against the rough bark of the Tree. Looking up, I notice the leaves once green changing colors. Blue, Red and Pink. In the distance, the cutest puppy bounces as it runs, chasing the most wonderful butterfly. A smile grows on my face as the sound of laughter fills the air. Like the sweetest raindrops sent to give life, they appear from the Forest. Skipping, with hands clasped so as not to reveal the surprise contained within. As they approach, my smile grows wider, as does theirs.

 Standing before me they asked me to close my eyes and hold out my hands. My imagination ran wild with excitement, for their gifts were always wonderful. When I opened my eyes, I was amazed but at the same time puzzled. In my one hand, I held a pink caterpillar and in the other a red one. My look must have struck a chord, because without hesitation they began to explain. You have taught us much. You have shown us many wonders. Our gifts to you today are beautiful, yet fragile. You can crush and destroy what we have given you in the blink of an eyelid, or as you have with us, you can nurture them and watch them grow into something so special.

I had always thought my gifts were good, but today, what they had given me was beyond compare. It signified trust, growth and being. It came with much responsibility and needed protection from all that may harm. As we climbed, the new puppy was carried into the Tree and placed alongside the others that waited patiently for our return, tails wagging, and eyes sparkling. The new Butterfly was hung alongside the many others to glisten in the dappled sunlight. Reflecting the warmth of its words on all it touched. I found a special place amongst my Baubles for my gift. Tucked deep inside, like a dream tucked into your heart. Patiently I would wait for the day when they would be transformed like I have watched my friends transformed.

 

The gift of life is precious,

It comes with much ado.

There is much to learn along the way.

So much for yet so few.

 

Nurture deep within your soul,

The hopes and dreams so dear.

With love and care you’ll watch them grow,

As friends are standing near.

 

So much in life is a wonder. So much to be learnt. Never be afraid to open up your mind. Never be afraid to open your heart. Within us all lays a special person waiting to be released. With the right care, you will be amazed what will come from the simplest of forms.

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Thought: Fragile

Glistening drops of water hang ever fragile on the fine strands of the cobweb.

Like tears and dreams caught and held.

Sunlight plays tenderly on each drop bouncing in all directions,

As if sending out the thoughts for all to share.

The slightest breeze, the gentlest touch and they will fall, gone forever.

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Side by side by side we stand,

Strong for all to see.

Where there once were two of us,

Now there stands us three.

 

Friends to make the others grow,

Friends to love and care,

Friendship based on truth and trust,

These friends are always there.

 

We fill the world with joyous words,

That speak of friendships pure.

Giving all that we have got,

For the many not the few.

 

So the butterflies the baubles,

The puppies in the tree.

All these things have come to pass,

Because we now are three.

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The night air was crisp and cool. My breath was like steam as I exhaled. The black sky broken only by the twinkling of the stars, like a million tiny eyes staring back at me from the vast unknown.  Standing on the edge of the Magic Forest, a feeling of apprehension fell upon me. I had not ventured here on my own before. Usually I had visited with a friend or two, but today was different. I had been on my own before, but never felt as alone as I did now. For I was old once more and in search of something lost long ago.

 The mist that slowly formed drifted gently across the forest floor. Like a wave on the ocean engulfing the daisies that were as helpless as children. As the night grew, the stillness of the forest, the sheer silence was gradually overcome by the many creatures that had ventured out to play. I remembered these sounds, familiar from ages past, yet I knew them not. Magical though they may be, it was lost to who I was, there and then. Walking quietly along the well-trodden path, making sure not to waken the demons that I imagined did exist, my senses reeled. My heart beat ever faster almost bursting from my chest.

 Having walked a while, I found myself deep within a clearing, yet what I had come for could still not be seen. Lost voices and echoed laughter tried to awaken me from this sleep into which I had seemed to have fallen. Still my mind could not be stirred. A part of me had cried for help, as I longed to be what I once was. I sat quietly, contemplating all that I had known, digging deep into my mind.  Yet all I once knew, I knew no more. A tear formed, then gently rolled down my cheek. As it fell, landing on a nearby flower, it was as though the forest had come to life once more. Emotions shared and nurtured in the earths breast.

 For a moment, I remembered. I glimpsed a part of what I was searching for, and then it was gone. From the darkness came a small hooded figure. Wearing a blue cloak, face covered so as not to be seen, simply lit by a glass jar that contained six fireflies. Not a word was said, but somehow his voice so familiar, spoke silently to me. Beckoned to leave this place and travel deeper, we made our way further into the forest. As we travelled, I remembered more of this place. Often I had come to watch the faeries and sprites play. Their games made no sense, but I did remember that it did not matter then.

 The moon had risen, its glow turning all it touched into mystical, magical objects. The edge of the forest was near and we paused momentarily to reflect on what we had seen. Memories had been stirred but were yet to become clear. As we stepped into the open field, the eerie light painted the daisies in mute colours. In the distance I spied a tree, tall and wide with branches bare. My companion pointed and nodded so that I knew where we must go. Onward we moved our footsteps becoming my own, then turning he was gone. I paused looking into the night sky at the familiar stars.

 When I reached the tree, it was pale and smooth. In its branches hung a hundred butterfly mobiles, glistening in the magic of the moonlight. I remembered a time. I remembered two friends but all that was left stood before me silent. For a moment I thought I glimpsed a shimmer of gold in the branches high, but alas, it was just the reflection of one of the butterfly mobiles that had caught in a tear in my eye. I was sad, because all I had known was gone.

 Just then I could hear the voices of children. Turning to whence I had come, I saw the boy in the blue cloak. He held the hand of a girl in a red dress as they ran joyfully along the path. Closely behind followed a young girl in pink overalls and pink ribbons in her hair. They were laughing and calling out to one another as they went. As they approached I held out my arms as if to greet them, for at last I had found what I was looking for. They ran through me as if I was not there, and turning I watched as the boy climbed the tree and helped the others up. To my amazement, the tree was no longer bare. Its leaves, its body had come to life as if spurred by the coming of youth. I felt as I had before. I knew now that the Friendship Tree would never die. It would always have a place in my memory and I hoped in the memories of my friends.

 Just then I woke. It was just a dream and it had ended, and that feeling of relief washed over me. It was like I had doubts about this treasured place. A fear that one day it would pass as will I, but I know now that if only in a distant memory in another place, the tree will live on forever. There will always be children, and with that lies the hope for man that youth will hold true all that I know. My spirit will always be a part of the tree, guiding those that choose to come and play.

 

Our youth it is a wonder,

We hold onto it tight,

Hoping that with all hope,

It sees us through the night.

 

As we then grow older,

We dare to let it go,

The child so deep inside us,

The good things that we know.

 

So gather all around you,

Your deep thoughts and your dreams,

For being an like adult,

Is not all that it seems.

 

When you’re feeling weary,

When your world just falls apart,

Dig deep in your memory,

Let the child in you fill your heart.

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I sit in this tree, legs dangling, eyes blinking against the brightness of the sun. A thick blanket of shiny green leaves hides me from anyone who may try to find where I hide. Most days I can be found here with my two closest friends – the white-haired boy with the sweet pirate smile and the rosy-cheeked girl with sweet sad eyes – perched on nearby branches. Their words bring me to life. Without their thoughts, dreams and stories, I do not exist. Their existence nourishes mine. The boy always moves close to the girl and tenderly wraps his arm around her shoulder. Their love for each other keeps this tree alive and strong. Their love is water drawn up from the ground, sustaining every branch, including mine. But today they are not here, except for the sweet memory of my time in their company yesterday, which still hangs like an intricate charm on a silver chain around my neck. Today there is only me in pink overalls, hair tied in pink bows, hanging more shiny, pleated paper butterflies with glittery string from leaf-laden branches.

I hang the next butterfly with a short piece of string and think of the boy with his eyes that are younger than he has ever truly been. Sometimes he giggles like he has only ever been a child, and a child is all he will truly ever be. His smile is kind, his eyes are full of daydreams, and his words are never complicated. He never had friends before he climbed here, but somehow he understood instinctively what friendship was in all its fullness – no more and no less. I used to think my butterflies were just worthless pieces of paper. But somehow the boy saw the value and beauty in even my earliest attempts and encouraged me to find and develop all of their potential. His eyes sparkle as the breath of his kind words powers my butterflies into gentle, swinging flight. I fold another one and hang it, then another, and realise that with each butterfly I add to my mobile tree, the shiny green leaves from nearby branches turn red, then orange, then brown – then flutter their way wordlessly down into the ever-growing blanket at the base of the Tree’s trunk.

The next butterfly I fold is so delicate and fragile, it makes me think of the beautiful girl who is now also my friend. My heart warms at the thought of how she has grown more than any of the branches in this strong, tall Tree. When the white-haired boy first brought her here, her eyes would glisten with frightened tears. Although at first I didn’t know why, slowly I came to understand that she had loved the boy her whole life with her whole heart, and though she was scared to climb the tree herself, the thought of him disappearing high into those branches and out of her sight made her precious heart tremble to be left alone on the ground. So slowly, gently, we taught her to climb with us and she learned to trust, usually taking his hand, sometimes taking mine, as we guided her higher – one step at a time – to the special branches where the sunshine of joy always dissolves the shadows of fear. Soon she became the strongest climber of us all, eager to explore the tree each day, to see the baubles the boy created to adorn his branch and the pink butterflies that dangled from mine.

I fold the final pleats into another paper butterfly, then tie a small length of glittery string into a bow across its tiny waist. I am slow and by now a little tired, but finally I am ready to suspend the last of my butterflies with the many others I have folded while climbing this Tree, both with my friends and alone. I rise slowly, finding my foothold on the rough bark. My arms stretch skywards to attach the final embellishment to the last remaining space on the branch above my head. My mobile is complete. The gentlest of breezes kisses my face, magically breathing life into the kaleidoscope of butterflies, now shimmering, dancing joyously into the dappled sunlight. And in an instant, the Tree’s last green leaf falls to the ground, leaving every branch as bare as bones, as smooth as stone, as white as light. Not a single leaf remains – but when did they all disappear? While I folded butterflies, they must have lost their hold without me even noticing, transforming the Tree into little more than a skeleton of its former self, reaching naked arms with empty, crooked hands into the darkening sky. I thought it was still early afternoon, but now the setting sun paints an eerie silhouette above me, brushing my bare skin with a sweet, haunting chill.

Now I am a Child, but the day shall come when I will be like this Tree. My true essence gone, somehow I may still cast a dim shadow onto the ground where once I too grew sweet and strong. Though the leaves crumple and fall, the branches remain solid and strong, proclaiming the legacy of a lush life that vigorously drew the water up through deeply embedded roots. And I shall leave my legacy of butterflies, dangling from one hundred glittery strings like softly-spoken words, whispered once but never forgotten. But that is not today. For now, I shall climb down, hoping like only a Child can hope that tomorrow when I return to the Tree, the leaves will be shiny and green once more, and that my friends will be waiting for me, hiding somewhere deep inside my mobile of butterflies.

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The full moon bathes in eerie light,

As mist drifts through the forest clear.

Creatures stir and come to life,

Like thoughts in dreams so deep and dear.

 

Hearts beat slow to forest sounds,

Eyes fixed in wondrous gaze.

See them dancing if you wish,

With child’s eyes be amazed.

 

To believe is not to be so strange,

Tis the child inside that calls.

As the veil of darkness moves steady cross,

It covers over all.

 

The sky so dark sees all this with

Its million glowing eyes.

As the moonlight paints the daisies,

Beneath the darkened sky.

 

The tinkling of the water clear,

Plays now upon the stones.

Like a melody that puts to rest,

The fears we’ve come to know.

 

So come sit where the faeries flit,

The sprites and elves do play.

Then close your eyes forever more,

To be the child again.

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It was a beautiful spring morning. The stars were gradually going to sleep as the light from the sun bathed them in its magic veil. The pink and red hues like a water-color painting washing over them once more. We sat in the tree, my friend and I watching intently, then as the sun touched our faces, we felt a warmth come over us. Today was going to be special. We did not know why, but it was a feeling that as children you just always knew. The magic forest was alive in the light. All the creatures played and danced in the glow as if it was life itself. Stirring after the passing of the long cold winter days. Flowers adorned the fields painting them like a giant rainbow, their perfume filling the senses as they swayed in the breeze. Bees bouncing across the field as they gathered the fruits of the flowers gently humming as they go.

We pondered our day and decided we would look inside the tree today to see what it had in store for us. As we opened the door, we were transported into the wonderful underwater world we had visited before. Today, the water was warm and the most wonderful sea jellies danced playfully around us like ballerinas. Puffer fish swam up to us, smiling as they always do to say hello, before darting off again. The sunlight streamed through the water’s surface, its rays like a thousand spotlights flickering on the ocean floor.

As we drifted, we came across the strangest of critters, not seen swimming around before. Looking like it was covered in hair, with hands for fins. It was a Tasselled Angler Fish. We had seen these before hidden in the weeds on the pylons, but today, to see them swimming in the open was just special. My friend could not contain herself and was overcome with excitement, so much so that she nearly fainted. She spun and flipped and twisted like a dolphin playing with a new friend. Once she had calmed down, we just sat and admired its magical beauty for what seemed like ages. Then as we were about to leave a large stingray swam in our direction, to admire us, before gliding off into the distance. It was time for us to leave once again and as we did we passed several seahorses gently swaying in the current. So small and fragile, at the same time beautiful and majestic. Partly hidden from view in the weeds that they would cling onto.

When we returned to our place in the tree to reflect on the beauty this day had brought us, we thought of our other friend that had not come with us. She did not think much of the ocean, well not being beneath it anyway. So our gifts to her were always our descriptions of what we saw, with today being no exception of that. Looking up we could see a figure skipping merrily through the field in our direction. Her red dress glowing in the sun, with a smile as big as her heart. When she reached the tree, she looked up, calling out to us, knowing we were in there somewhere. I climbed down to the lowest branches and helped her into the tree.

As she climbed she had a special smile on her face today. She always smiled, but today it was just different, sort of excited. When we were finally sitting together, she told us that she had made something special and that we had to close our eyes and hold out our hands. We were a little apprehensive, because last time we did this she put worms in them, which was kind of yucky. We relented and when we did, she placed a small gift, wrapped in a pink leaf with a daisy button on it into each of our hands. It made us smile, because we liked gifts, especially surprise ones from Rose. We opened our gifts at the same time. Inside was the most beautiful treasure. She had carved from wood, the most wonderful tree shape contained within a circle. It was attached to a necklace made from daisies.

Rose was good at heart and always meant well in whatever she did. There was much thought behind this gift as usual. She explained that her gift was representative of our Friendship Tree, the place where we meet and share our thoughts and dreams. The circle it was contained in, was the bond of our friendship, which she hoped would remain unbroken. This brought a tear to our eyes because she had longed to feel a part of all we did and at last it seemed that this had taken place. We all wore our gifts with joy and they made our hearts warm with the thought behind them. Together we climbed the tree and within the book of dreams we wrote.

Friends can come in many forms,
Friends are always there.
Friends don’t judge or abandon you,
They embrace you and they care.
The friendship bond that was formed by two,
Has now been shared with three.
Forever holding in our hearts,
The good things friends can be.
Until the time we leave this place,
We hope this friendship holds.
A joy for us each day that comes,
With us as we grow old.

We hugged as children do, then sat and told Rose all that we had seen today, which as usual amazed her.

For my wonderful and absolutely magical Rose. No greater love could I find than the one I have in you, and to my most wonderful friend LF, your friendship is so full of honesty and respect, which I shall treasure always.

Thank you both for being who you are.

May the magic and wonder follow us where ever we travel.

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